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THE ROCK FATHER Magazine

WORX rolls out LIVE Online Demo of 56V Yard Tools...

I get really torn when it comes to my power equipment for Lawn & Garden use. There's no disputing the power of gas, but I often hate what comes with it - like the upkeep, the smell of exhaust, and having potential contaminants or dangerous materials on-hand where kids could come into contact with them. Right now we have a mix of gas and electric in the arsenal here at Rock Father HQ, but one brand I've been curious about is WORX. I've seen their rechargeable cordless tools in stores... I've seen the commercials... but I have yet to see them in-action. Today (4/7/16) that changes, as WORX will be hosting a LIVE online demonstration of their 56V MaxLithium yard tool lineup, including a string trimmer, hedge trimmer, leaf blower and lawn mowers.  The folks at WORX tout their tools as offering "gas-like performance & extended runtime with zero emissions." My interest is piqued, and the webcast begins at 1pm ET. To participate, visit the WORX site.

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Home & Garden: 10 Tips for Getting Your Power Equipment Tuned-up for Spring!

OPEIThe official calendar start of Spring is just days away, and like many of you, I'm ready to get outside and get the winter mess cleaned-up to get a jump on making the yard nice for the year. As the lawn mowers and trimmers start to emerge from storage, it's important to make sure that those, and any power equipment, are ready to rock safely for the season. The folks over at The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), an international trade association representing more than 100 power equipment, engine and utility vehicle manufacturers and suppliers, has put together a list of 10 Tips for Getting Your Power Equipment Tuned-up for Spring. There's simple basic stuff here, but everyone could use a refresher once in awhile, and starting with the basics like inspecting equipment, reviewing manuals, and double-checking safety procedures is a great thing to do.

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A Small Bathroom Remodel - Part I: Preparation

They say that one thing leads to another... and in the case of our home, that's absolutely correct. The entire #RockFatherRemodel Project was spawned by one major problem - a leaking bathroom that came through the ceiling of our family room/play room. That was just the beginning, as various components of that overhaul led to further projects, and as we sit right now, the process is ongoing. The full remodel of the Master Bathroom was a must-do, and a daunting task despite bringing in professional help for the bulk of the work. If you're like us and live in a modest, suburban home, our projects will hopefully serve as inspiration that a home can improve with age.

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Head-to-Head: Snow Joe 18" iON Hybrid vs. 21" iON PRO

What a weird winter this has been. The first snowstorm in mid-November was a bad one - around a foot of snow here in the far northern suburbs of Chicago, but a mess that quickly melted and was periodically replaced by on-and-off dustings. By January, we had ice on top of more ice... then some snow, then more ice. And then, cold. I was ill-prepared for this season, coming off of sharing a snowbird neighbor's gas-powered snow blower and teetering about making the switch to electric. When we last spoke about the winter weather, I stated that, despite it being late in the season, I'm now more prepared than ever to deal with a snowstorm - the new owner of a Snow Joe iON PRO Series 21-Inch Cordless Single Stage Brushless Snow Blower (iON21SB-PRO) that I bought from Amazon, and the new 18" iON Hybrid (available at The Home Depot) - the first snow blower that allows AC/DC operation, with users able to switch between corded and cordless use, that machine sent to me by Snow Joe as part of a Brand Ambassador deal. As I sit here today, there is no snow outside - and spring temperatures have already popped-up for a few days, but there was a storm I was able to tackle to put these to the test. But, in the new reality that is Chicago-area weather in 2016, it's already melted, and tomorrow is set to bring perhaps one of the messiest winter storms of the season. That's before we hit the 50's again this weekend.  So how do these to blowers stack-up?

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The Better Homes & Gardens 2016 Color Palette of the Year...

As we continue the #RockFatherRemodel project here at Rock Father HQ, many gallons of paint have been used, and color has been taken into careful consideration. While I wouldn't say that my wife and I have paid attention to trends when it comes to our colors, one on-trend choice (or a variation of it) has made Better Homes & Garden's 2016 Color Palette of the Year, and that's Gray. Specifically, we went with the BEHR Marquee "Silent Film" variety from The Home Depot (you'll be seeing it soon when I unveil our new family room/playroom here on the site), but for those looking for what other splashes of color are making waves this year, look no further that the BHG list. The colors pictured above and detailed below are all featured in the third annual Color Issue, which is on-stands now.

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Introducing The "Rock Father Remodel" Project...

It was nearly six years ago that we moved into the house that would become our home - the home that would become known as Rock Father HQ. Little Adalyn was less than a year old, and Finley was still about two years off. We weren't first-time buyers, but the decision to buy our first single-family home was one wrapped in many things - like affordability, area, the house itself, and most importantly for us, the school district. It was my wife who fell in love with the house - I was more excited for the yard. The house was nice, but would need some improvements, a quick $10K spent at The Home Depot up the road on some immediate things (lots and lots of paint), and we were in business. But, like any aging house that's changed hands a few times, there were things that would eventually need to be addressed... just as there were things that we'd eventually want to address. And sometimes those "wants" end up being prompted (or accelerated) by unexpected needs. That's exactly how The #RockFatherRemodel Project began. As things needed to be done, I realized it was time to start tracking the progress.

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